Jeff Ksiazek plays Irish guitar and bouzouki and also plays tenor guitar, Irish flute, and tin whistle. He studied jazz improvisation and arrangement with Don Chamberlain and saxophone performance with Bruce Western at Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa. Since discovering Irish traditional music, Jeff has studied flute with Shannon Heaton, Mike Rafferty, Sean Ryan, and Harry Bradley and guitar with Matt Heaton, Patsy O’Brien, and John Blake. In 2005, he co-founded the Irish traditional music trio Áthas with Amy Richter (bodhrán) and Heather Lewin (fiddle).
Jeff received his MLIS from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s School of Information Studies in 2008, concentrating in archives. As the archivist of the Ward Irish Music Archives (WIMA) at CelticMKE, Jeff Ksiazek has worked on a number of projects including the Dunn Family Collection. This digital collection showcases material from Milwaukee fiddler Michael J. Dunn, including 32 wax cylinder recordings produced by Captain Francis O’Neill in Chicago between 1902 and 1912. He’s currently working on digital collections of WIMA’s sheet music collections and commercial Irish music cylinders.
Recently his historical research interests have focused on the musicians of Paddy Killoran’s bands of 1930s New York, including Michael “Whitey” Andrews, Paul Ryan, Jim McGinn, and Jack Healy. Jeff presented material about Killoran’s bands at The Session Conference in Milwaukee (2012) and the 47th Annual Association for Recorded Sound Collections Conference in Kansas City (2013).
Jeff Ksiazek teaches tin whistle and flute at the Milwaukee Irish Fest School of Music and also teaches DADGAD guitar, bouzouki, and tenor guitar locally in Milwaukee and via Skype.